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CNB NEWS ARCHIVES 2009: Audubon & Brooklawn School Districts Agree to Study Merger

POSTED Sunday, January 25, 2009

by William E. Cleary Sr.  

Last year, Gov. Jon Corzine signed a law to regionalize some of the smaller districts, given that 6a00d8341bf7d953ef01bb07cd860f970d-800wi the state has more than 600 school districts for 567 municipalities. 
Under the law, executive county superintendents must present regionalization plans by March 2010. 

The focus is particularly on the smaller districts that send students to a neighboring district for high school. Some believe that the administrative expense involved with maintaining small districts is an undo burden on homeowners. 

With that thought in mind the School Boards for Audubon and Brooklawn passed resolutions recently to begin a joint feasibility study on merging the two schools. 

Presently Brooklawn has 314 students enrolled in the Alice Costello Grammar School for grades K to 8. There are approximately 78 students from Brooklawn enrolled at Gloucester City High School. Brooklawn pays $800,000 annually in tuition to Gloucester City for those students. 

When contacted by CNB Brooklawn School Board President- Bruce Darrow said, “when we heard what was coming from the State we wanted to be pro-active on this matter. The Brooklawn BOE has 5 members who are Gloucester City High School (GHS) graduates and many have had children graduate from GHS. We have no concerns about the quality of education or the athletic programs but, we had a concern for our community to keep our school open. 

"We have lost the Catholic Church (St. Maurice) and our town could not afford to lose our school also, so we formed a three member Consolidation Committee to meet with representatives from Gloucester City School Board. The Brooklawn Committee had several issues of concern but the number ONE issue of our Board was keeping our neighbor school open at least through the sixth grade.  Since I am not part of this committee I can only speak on the report from the Gloucester meeting. 

"At the Gloucester meeting our committee failed in getting Gloucester to commit to keeping the Brooklawn School open. So without any assurances from Gloucester our committee met with Audubon and we received a verbal guarantee that our school would remain open at least through the 6th grade". 

Darrow added that if Brooklawn consolidates with Gloucester City they would no longer be a Borough School Board, “Gloucester City would be in charge of our district. If we go to Audubon we would continue to have a Board of Education”


irishguy said...

I hope that as well as Audubon the Brooklawn BOE would look at the Gateway Reg District ( this includes Westville with whom we already share boro services) as a possible plan. That district has excellent test scores and is facing the possibility of losing a sending district ( Nat Park) in the next 2 years creating an opening in what is along with Audubon an excellent school district.

Thank you! said...

Thank you to the Brooklawn School Board for being proactive and standing up for our community and school. We can not afford to lose our school and if that is what would happen if we merged with Gloucester, we need to find other options. One of the main reasons many people move to Brooklawn (and remain here for so many years) is for the school. Parents like having their children remain in one school so the same people are watching over them and teaching them. We have fabulous teachers and can not afford to lose them, which could happen if we went to Gloucester (since they are not willing to give a guarantee Alice Costello would remain open.) We as a community need to stand up for what is right for our children..Thanks again Brooklawn School Board!


So when actually (what year and what grade???) are these kids going to be going to Audubon? Will these kids be attending Audubon High School or Gloucester High? Does this include Brooklawn resident students only or are the school choice kids in on this deal also? And if this is in the works, then why are they still accepting school choice applications? From what i hear, this has been in the works for months, yet the BOE failed to inform their residents/taxpayers/parents of this. It's a nice idea with the economy and all, but what are the taxes going to be after this merger? Most of the tax dollars keep going to buying more brand spanking new boro trucks. Seems like there's a little hidden agenda here.